Consortium edging closer to Tote

A bid from a racing consortium, made up of the Racecourse Association, Jockey Club Racecourses and the Racehorse Owners’ Association has gained new impetus ahead of the 26th January deadline given by the UK government to complete the sale of Tote.

The government has ensured that all negotiating parties are adhering to strict confidentiality rules, so any details of the current situation are fairly vague. However, the gap between a valuation of Tote by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the racing consortiums previous offer appears to have been met.

"It's very difficult to say anything at this point," said a senior racing insider. "But we're very happy that we still have this opportunity in front of us, and there is no longer a gap between the two sides. We know exactly what we have to do in order to achieve what we set out to do."

The government have made no secret of the fact that they would prefer to sell Tote back to its racing fore-bearers, but many fear a bid from the racing consortium would be funded by too much debt, jeopardising the government’s desire for its sale to be for the benefit of racing across the board.

Gala Coral and Interactive Gaming Holdings, led by Tote former chief executive John Heaton, have both made their interest known and have offered the full market value of £400 million for Tote. However, it appears as though the Government’s desire to uphold their manifesto pledge and sell Tote to racing appears to have ruled out any outside parties.

Editor, - 2007-01-03 16:48:18

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